What if you disagree with your doctor

Fiona Brown
Oregon Blog
Earth Monkey Moms

Ever taken a little cherub of yours to the Doc and come away feeling a little……underwhelmed……or overwhelmed……..or have you questioned exactly what they have diagnosed and/or prescribed and wanted to treat things in a different way?……here’s a question that came my way:

“I’ve been dealing with ‘opinions’ from individuals who want to pressure me to do things differently with the care of my sick daughter. And being the ‘quick to respond’ type that I am, it just ends up with hurt feelings on both sides. So I’m wondering what some other mommas would say/do in those situations. This specific circumstance is with my daughter having pneumonia and being treated with a laundry list of meds & my desire to use a more natural approach… Tough situation but its hard not to let it bother me or simply ignore it when I truly feel I’m doing what’s right for my child.I hope I’m not the only momma who finds herself in situations like this, and I’d love to hear what other mommas think or how they would respond.” – Ms



Hmmmmm.  Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.  I’m so glad I have clever friends.  To answer this question I sought out the help of a friend of mine who is a Mom (to a college student and a high schooler), she’s also a Christian, and she’s quite possibly the best and loveliest general practitioner  in the whole wide world. 

I’m not biased at all, nope, not me – the evidence speaks for itself – people travel from all over the city (sorry my American friends, she’s in Auckland, NZ) to see her and her practice is full, chocka block full.  And I’m not one bit embarrassed that she’s seen me (not just talking about a sore throat here people!) yet I can still look her in the eye over a good latte….Anyhooo….Dr Anna Tabuteau is as good as it gets and here are her thoughts on this matter:



Pneumonia is a deep lung infection which of course is usually bacterial and can be fatal if left untreated by antibiotics. There are of course other causes; occasionally viruses, atypical organisms such as Tuberculosis etc etc but without knowing the child’s past history etc bacteria are the most likely causes of community acquired pneumonia in an otherwise well child.



There are some simple infections which can be treated quite effectively with natural remedies eg, simple upper respiratory tract infections, uncomplicated Otis media but pneumonia if correctly diagnosed is not one of these.



Whilst most doctors recognise the importance of parental input into decision making and respect their right to chose a more natural approach to treatment we have to remember that modern medicine is also a God given gift, that we are so privileged to be living in the age of antibiotics which can treat infections such as pneumonia quickly and effectively without risking a lingering illness that goes on for weeks and can be fatal. 



 I’ve been reading an amazing book by Nick Vujicic, here’s a quote that may be helpful;



 “Most people dealing with serious health problems or severe disabilities put faith into action every day in some way. Often it is faith in their doctors and nurses or in their pills,treatment and medical equipment. Accepting professional medical care is consistent with having faith. God has given you the opportunity to be served by trained and talented people. If you are thirsty,you might like to have it quenched supernaturally, but you surely would accept a cup of water handed to you by a caring person,wouldn’t you?  It’s the same with God’s leading your decisions (to accept treatment) as you walk in faith.” 



My own dime’s worth:  I think what is key here Ms S is partnership.  For us as parents to walk hand in hand with health professionals and to know our concerns are being heard, and to know when to seek a second opinion if you’re just not happy.  At the end of the day you are the parent and you can’t feel bad for when you truly think you’re doing the right thing for your child, but by partnering with a good family doctor, you’re actually relying on an expert’s help to fill in the gaps where our knowledge is spotty.  And I know I certainly didn’t go to medical school for however many years….and my student loan thanks me for that……



As Nick Vujicic says when you’re dealing with health problems you’re putting faith into action every day.



When my youngest was born he had jaundice issues and his pediatrician was concerned and he was very close to being admitted for light treatment…..however…..seeing as he was our third child and we’d dealt with jaundice before and since we kept in close communication with the doc, we were able to do it ‘our way’ and treat him at home – because of our partnership with the expert – his doc.  Partnership is the key…..not what your friends say or think, not what dear old Aunt Betty says they did in her day……but partnership between us and the professionals, the experts in their fields, and if you don’t feel your feelings are being validated – find another doctor.



Now come on readers……every one of you has an opinion…..I’ve been really surprised at the lack of responses these ‘Ask Auntie Fi’ posts have had…….I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I know you ALL have valuable input to share….



Come on, what do you think?  When is it ok for parents to treat their kids naturally?  How would you react to others who disagreed with your treatment choice?



Do you have a good relationship with your Doc? You may not be able to chat over a latte like I can with mine….but how can you make sure your opinion is voiced and heard, and even validated?


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